The Contemporary Arts Center Presents Jimmy Baker Remote Viewing

The Contemporary Arts Center presents Jimmy Baker: Remote Viewing on view February 26 – April 10, 2011 Opening Celebration: Friday, February 25.

The work in the show combines traditional painting techniques with digital printing. The methods are used in tandem and blended beyond distinction. The seamless nature of the digital printing over the painted canvas helps to weave the two processes together, blurring the line between the different media. Much in the same way, the artist also fuses subject matter, mixing landscapes with shattered images of human figures and forms. Baker manipulates photographs pulled from various online sources such as social media, news outlets and government websites. He combines unassuming images—celebrities snapped by paparazzi and anonymous pictures of everyday life—with horrifying images of dismembered bodies and explosions photographed by soldiers. He deconstructs these images at the code level, parsing them into fragments that are then dispersed within the painting. The final work creates an uncertainty in the viewer—a confusing interplay of contrasting media, sources and subjects.

“Jimmy toys with the notion of ‘digital’ both as a process and as a subject matter. He interferes at a material level—scrambling, dissolving and then reconstructing. He melts together catastrophes, the glitz of popular culture and the mundane into one disorienting alloy image,” explains Raphaela Platow, the CAC’s Alice & Harris Weston Director and Chief Curator. “By interweaving these unrelated themes, he addresses the role context plays in our understanding of images in the all-access world of the 21st century.”

Baker’s fascination with the internet as a creative resource started at a young age. As a boy, his father had developed an interest in HyperText Markup Language (HTML) coding, the programming language of web pages. As the years passed, Baker grew to rely on the internet and media-based technology to escape isolation. This early and intimate introduction to the world wide web laid the foundation for his creative process. It also informed the title of the show. The term “remote viewing” refers to a psychic method of “seeing” something that is physically hidden from view, popularized by the movie, The Men Who Stare at Goats. In referencing this psychic practice, Baker is commenting on contemporary society’s relationship with digital media and exploring how we interface with it. And through his unique mash-up of processes, he searches for a new chapter in the history of painting.

Born in 1980 in Dover, Ohio, Jimmy Baker received his BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and his MFA from the University of Cincinnati. He is an adjunct instructor at the Art Academy in Cincinnati.

The Contemporary Arts Center gratefully acknowledges the support of Legg Mason Investment Counsel and ArtsWave Corporate Partner, Convergys.

Opening Celebration
Friday, February 25, 2011
Opening Party, free and open to the public, starts at 8pm.
There will be an Artist Talk—featuring French street artist and 2011 TED Prize winner, JR—for CAC Members at 7pm.
JR, the internationally renowned street artist best known for his “Women are Heroes” project, will be at the CAC on Friday, February 25th for the opening party of Keith Haring: 1978-1982 and Jimmy Baker: Remote Viewing. JR will be the featured speaker for the evening’s Artist Talk, an event taking place immediately prior to the public party. During this intimate presentation, JR will tell CAC Members about being the first artist to ever win the prestigious TED Prize and about his work as an international street artist. JR’s talk at the CAC brings into view Haring’s legacy as a precursor to contemporary street art and provides a unique backdrop to viewing Keith Haring: 1978-1982. Admission to the talk is open exclusively to CAC Members, though the party afterward is free and open to the public.

Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art 44 E. 6th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 513.345.8400

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